The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #27046   Message #329819
Posted By: Abby Sale
29-Oct-00 - 02:53 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: On Board of a Man-of-War
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'On Board Of A Man-of-war'
ok. Bellamy is certainly singing "Death of Nelson" and it bears no relation to "Press Gang"/"Aboard a Man-of-War" whatsoever. What he does is mearly use the "On board the Man-of-War" refrain at the end of each verse. The notes give that it's a collated version between a 3-verse contemporary broadside and that sung by Harry Cox. I don't yet know whence the tune comes. Maybe Cox. It begins with the verse beginning: 'On the twenty-first of October at the rising of the sun' which, of course, is the reason the song jumped out and bit me & I had to find out more.

MacColl/Haslem "Press Gang" version is as in the database - filename[ PRSSGANG. These are nearly the same as Jacko's "ABOARD A MAN-OF-WAR" as posted. (Almost exactly as Gene's above.) They all leave out Jacko's comic- relief verse:

Well the first thing they did they took me in 'and
They flogged me with the tar of a strand
They flogged me till I could not stand
On board a Man-of-War, boys



Although the English seemed to get a hell of a kick out of writing songs about Nelson dying, most seem to be versions of each other. Well, the facts are pretty much the same, anyway.
Malcolm - lot of work there... Do you have a secret method of going straight to the enlarged version at the Bodley? I always get the Reduced version & have to wait to go to enlarged. I wish they'd start on a middle one.
Thank you very much All.
It's a good record set altogether.